Organisational benefits of prioritising employee health and wellbeing23rd September 2022
If you want a business that thrives, you need healthy, happy employees. Now more than ever, staff want to feel like they are more than just a cog in a machine. They need to gain satisfaction from their work, they want to contribute towards the achievement of common goals and they want to make a difference.
Employees also want to feel like their wellbeing and mental health are being cared for, so employers need to take deliberate action to show that they are taking the health of their employees seriously.
Why mental health and wellbeing needs to be an essential part of your organisational wellbeing policy
According to The Mental Health Foundation, “1 in 6.8 people experience mental health problems in the workplace (14.7%)”. Employee wellness impacts everything, from culture and profit to productivity and performance, and ultimately the long-term success of the business. Healthy employees are happy employees, and happy employees tend to be more engaged and productive.
Undue stress on employees can impair strategic thinking and creative ability and contribute to decreased organisational performance. And if stress is allowed to continue unchecked and untreated, it can cause chronic anxiety, insomnia, high blood pressure and weakened immune system, all of which lead to increased levels of absenteeism.
The key to creating a happy and healthy workforce?…
…starts with thinking outside the box and offering more than a competitive rewards and benefits package.
Here at CY Partners we are committed to boosting the wellbeing of our employees and offer a range of perks as part of our wellness programme.
Just some of the benefits we offer include:
- Competitive salaries
- Hybrid and full work from home options
- Sick Pay Scheme
- Regular team events and nights out
- Office based poker nights
- Up to 25 days paid holiday per leave year plus the Public Bank Holidays
- Uncapped performance related bonus
- An open and approachable management team
- Mental health support through our health and life insurance
- Flexible hours and hybrid working
- Development and career progression
If you want to demonstrate that you are invested in the health and wellbeing of your employees, and to positively impact their work-life balance, below are some additional workplace wellness benefits you could consider implementing.
An employee assistance programme
According to the Mental Health Foundation, “better mental health support in the workplace can save UK businesses up to £8 billion annually.” Thus, it is in the best interest of both the organisation and its people to invest in the development of an EAP. The assistance programme is designed to provide support to employees in the form of confidential counselling to help them deal with any personal or work-related issues that may be negatively impacting their wellbeing, and to help them deal with the effects of anxiety, stress and depression. Advantages include reduced absenteeism, increased employee retention and improved performance.
Meditation or mindfulness sessions
A study revealed by Headspace found that “10 days of guided meditation can reduce stress by 14% and reduce irritability by 27%”. Savvy organisations are tuning in to the positive effects of mindfulness and meditation, both of which improve productivity and focus by encouraging us to pay closer attention to our thoughts and feelings. Mindfulness meditation helps to reduce work related stress and anxiety, increases resilience and helps staff to complete projects with greater efficiency.
Meditation and Mindfulness are two of the most popular relaxation techniques in the UK and around the world. Both help to ease stress by releasing negative emotions and focusing on the present moment. They relieve stress by providing the space and clarity employees need to alleviate tension.
So, how about running a free yoga or meditation session for your employees? You can bring in an external teacher to lead a 40-minute class at lunchtime. Alternatively, you could add a free subscription to a paid meditation app to your benefits package, apps we recommend are Headspace, Shine, Ten Percent Happier, and Calm. Or you could treat your team to a social event at a meditation centre.
Healthy office snacks
Healthy snacks, such as fruit bowls, promote both mental and physical wellbeing, while relieving the financial burden employees face when having to buy snacks at work.
Allow flexible working
Whether you are allowing your employees to perform their role from home full time, or to split their time between working in the office and working from home, you will be fostering an environment of employee wellbeing. You are reducing the stress caused by spending time stuck in traffic jams, and easing the financial pressure associated with commuting. Consider for example allowing your employees to work from home on Thursday and Friday, which gives them time at the end of the week to switch off and relax, as well as granting them more time with their family.
Make it mandatory for employees to take a lunch break
Many busy workers underestimate the value of taking time out during the day, and the many ways in which this enhances their ability to perform at their best. A lunchtime stroll means staff are getting some well needed relaxation and exercise. Even a few minutes of exercise can significantly reduce stress levels, improve mood and focus, and will have your employees smiling and full of energy.
Promote open communication
Sharing experiences both positive and negative can help ease the pressure employees feel. It can bring huge relief to discover someone else is experiencing similar problems to us, or to listen to alternative solutions suggested by others. So, break the stigma around mental health in the workplace and allow your employees to bring their whole selves to work by encouraging them to express their emotions, without judgement.
Ensure that employees make full use of their holiday entitlement
Downtime is productive. Work-related exhaustion, or burnout as it’s commonly referred to, is an increasingly concerning phenomenon that negatively impacts employee health and wellbeing. To foster true productivity in employees they must be encouraged to enjoy sufficient downtime.
Time away from work can help to consolidate memory and learning, boost focus, creativity and work performance and prevent decision fatigue. It also ensures that employees return feeling refreshed and re-energised, ready to tackle the challenges of their role.
Create a culture of recognition
According to Mind, “60 per cent of employees say they’d feel more motivated and more likely to recommend their organisation as a good place to work if their employer took action to support mental wellbeing.”
Demonstrating that you recognise your employees’ achievements proves that you value their efforts, which in turn will motivate them to continue to produce good work, in addition to increasing engagement, retention and morale.
Gift cards are a simple and effective way to show appreciation, and you’ll find some great employee gift ideas here. You could also write thank you notes, offer financial incentives or extra time off, or take your team out to lunch.
Creating a culture of wellness in your workplace is a commitment, but it proves the degree to which the business is invested in the health, both physically and mentally of its employees. While implementing a wellness programme may require an investment of time and money initially, the benefits far outweigh the effort and cost.
If you’re looking for more insight about workplace wellbeing and how to attract the best talent, contact us here.